Coping: The Art of The Game

Everyone loves a bit of mystery in life.

Since everyone is working (and who has time to call the old folks?) it was a pleasure to catch up a bit with youngest daughter on the phone last night.

Yes, this is the one that got married a few months back after the World’s Toughest Mudder at the MGM Grand.

Turns out their marriage is off to a great start, since they are both into trivia and games.

In the Ancient Book of Ure, there is a set of instructions that says Sex is good for a while, brains are good for a very long time, and the heart is forever.   Mystery keeps everything lasting forever.

As it turns out, daughter (who is a serious gamer) and hubby love to “do mysteries” for one-another.

Since the daughter picked up the latest symphony tickets, she’s having fun with a local mystery she cooked up for the other half.

He has to find his concert ticket.

Gamers have a marvelous sense of play.  So her “mystery for the hubby to solve began with an email from a non-existent spy organization.

He bit.

So a subsequent email explained there is a missing document and he’s being run all over the house and around the neighborhood trying to follow clues that he hopes will get him to his concert ticket, or the daughter will go with a friend of hers.

The game must has consequences, apparently.

I can’t spoil it all, but one of the clues that has been found was in a water bottle with a secret compartment.

Water bottle with a secret compartment?  Oh sure, she explained.  See Amazon and pick one up: Bottle Safe – Dasani.

When introducing the prop, you can get really surreptitious and mix it in with a case of real water, if you want to.

This left Dad with an increasingly familiar “Well, I’ll be dipped and rolled in it…” feeling.  So, there is a glimmer of playfulness and some intelligence in these 30-somethings, after all.

Another clue was on the backside of a picture in the living room. Another way…oops!  He hasn’t found that one yet.

Each clue leads to another…and for the person setting things up, there is no end of fun to be had hiding gifts and special occasion items. 

She also turned me on to something I’d never heard of before:  The Mysterious Package Company which has a website over here:

Now, I have to admit that is an interesting place.  For me, it is particularly so because people who are gamers are particularly vulnerable to a sales technique called “The Take-away Sale.”

I wanted to spend a minute with you on the take-away sales technique because it is used by the Mysterious Package Company with huge success.

The core idea is this:  In the take-away sale, the direction of the sales process is backwards.

Normally, the stops in sales are from the company/rep to the prospective purchaser.

In other words, the standard six steps of sales:  Prospect (find the buyers), qualify (do they need what you’re selling?), demonstrate (show ‘em how cool the product is), overcome objections (reasons why they aren’t buying), close (get the order), and then fund (no sales is done until money changes hands).

In the Reverse Sale, the direction is opposite.

An example in the car business is when a male walks into the Chevy store, looks at the new Corvette and says “I want to take that for a test drive…”

The car peddler is then in the enviable position of the prospective customer selling themselves to the dealer, instead of the other way around.

The Take-away Sales is therefore conditional from the buyer’s standpoint:  All the seller has to do is master their side of the script.

OK, kind, every guy wants to drive a new ‘Vette.  But I’m not here for joyriders.  Can you afford a ‘Vette?:”

You see what just happened?  This isn’t like walking into the Ford store and having a salesperson tell you how the Fusion will almost run on air.  No, the Chevy ‘Vette salesman has the easiest sales of all.

Why, yes, yes sir, I can afford a Corvette,” the hapless person says.

Well, I’m not so sure about that, “ says the Take-away sales artist.  “Let’s run your credit…because I don’t have time for BS’ers and joyriders.”

All of a sudden, instead of selling to the would be driver, the Take-away artist simply lets the applicant sell themselves into the car.

Now, in the car, the males are buying sex, attention, ego, and performance.

You know, kid, have you ever had a REAL performance car before?  If you have a girlfriend, you might have a problem if I sell this to you…because women you didn’t even know will want to go out with you…just saying…”

“Where’s that pen?  Where do I sign?”

Trust me…it’s how high-end anything is sold.  The other place you see it a lot is in education.  Ivy League schools in particular.

Why should we admit you to the hallowed halls of (fill in school name)?  Tell me why we should ADMIT YOU of all people…:”

“IF I let you into this prestigious school where only the best shakers and movers come from, will you get your student loan application in by Tuesday?”

[If it sounds uncomfortably familiar, the reason I don’t work for someone else for less than six-figures is because I can teach this technique.

But back to the point:  The Mysterious Package Company has a customer application process. 

Kind of like Amex.  “Members only” kind of thing.  You need to apply for membership and give up some money, usually to show “commitment.”

I used to explain to people in the education system what the reality of the Ivy League uppity was:  For the most part, the Ivy Leagues use the same damn textbooks, and they have the same massive class size in the English 101 cattle call, and the same seats because there are only a few manufacturers.

And after a while people begin to realize that the chairs are cheap and all schools will give you what you put into them.  But the trick of the Ivy Leagues is they can charge more for the same butt-in-chair and same textbook because they have decreed their higher value.

Bet you didn’t know college sports came about purely as a marketing ploy between schools in the late 1800’s, did you? 

Not only is college football dangerous (injuries and such) but people are playing into that whole “school spirit bullshit” which a great sales person can turn into yet-another stuffed-to-the-gills English 101 class next year.

But therein lies this morning’s elucidation.

In their newly-wed state, youngest daughter and hubby are both off on a great start because they are playing the take-away sale with each other.  And that could be the basis of a very solid long-term outcome.

Mystery keeps everything lasting forever.

You just have to give – and find – the right clues.

A long marriage is a fine thing.  And it seems to me the best way to grease the skids is to remember marriage, just like job-hunting, is a sales process.

And it’s a unique one:  Because you’re dealing with a perishable product that most people buy at the “peak of freshness” and forget about the need to keep “reselling” themselves to their mate.

Every time I see a couple that is old and where they snap at one another a sad truth can usually be found:  they have given up on selling themselves to one-another.

Are there other approaches? 

Sure.  An old friend Brock always kept half a dozen gift’s stashed around the house.  When he felt like having fun, he would simply produce a gift an announce it’s a gift for whatever day strikes his fancy from the National Day Calendar.

Say, I did mention today is National Puzzle Day,l didn’t I?

I just know you can hardly wait for Day Backwards National which happens Sunday, too.

Go have a fun weekend and getcherass back here Monday…bring 3 of your closest friends, too, while you’re at it.

Write when you break-even,


author avatar
George Ure
Amazon Author Page: UrbanSurvival Bio:

16 thoughts on “Coping: The Art of The Game”

  1. That sales technique is what prevented a Cadillac dealer from selling me an Allante when they came out. I walked out, even though I could have bought several for cash.

    • HA! I walked away from a condo in NYC when they wouldn’t show it to me until I showed them my finances. I could have paid cash too, but I walked. Not everyone is easily manipulated.

      • Exactly, I would never play ball with that technique, I would say, “well screw you then” and take a joyful walk.

    • Of course aitch, the symbol you are using tells alot about you. It’s root is found in the egyptian glyph for: a fence.

      It isn’t all about sales or ivy league schools. It is more about the premise of “are you good enough.” When you bring your best, is it a caddy or a put put. Both will get ya to the green. Only one comes with a driver. In a sea of tree’ not everyone is a tiger woods.

  2. I’m with H, I’ve had that one applied to me and I was mortally insulted by it. Perhaps I should have a thicker skin, or maybe the approach was too aggressive, but “homey don’t play that.” :)

    My daughters play that hiding game with each other for Christmas presents, and it’s fun for everyone.

  3. ure such a schmuck-gloating over low low gas prices while living in a state (and a country, as well) where oil prices are crucial to jobs and overall financial stability….how dare you giggle over saving a buck when people are losing their jobs due to falling oil ???? And as to your daughter’s clue game, take a look at the recent book/movie in which leaving clues for a spouse in return for a surprise..not exactly original your daughter’s part, sorry. Why don’t you just hop on your tractor and go somewhere else? (off the internet would be perfect!)

    • Harsh, dude. Gas during the last depression was a dime. That translates to $1.72 in today’s world. Remember who in this crowd actually owns solar panels and is grid-tied with American made equipment, please. I know people who make diddly and $1.49 gas means clothes and food too.

      • Exactly…I just paid $1.42 a gallon, our gas has been WAY over priced for the last decade. Plenty of people became RICH, filthy rich, on the backs of the American consumers, and I am sick of it and glad to get a respite. Your industry will find a way to get back to screwing us all over soon enough!

  4. A big thumbs up on keeping the marriage going. Remembering that the other was amazing enough to be with permanently requires you to be amazing enough to be with permanently.
    Maybe the IV leagues need to learn this lol.

  5. Dr of what? Howard.
    The oil industry is destructive in many ways, Humanity must leave the oil in the ground where it belongs.
    Good people in clean energy industries deserve jobs too!
    Oil companies receive enormous tax benefit from US, the sooner we stop you from fracking up our beautiful Earth the better!

  6. To be a successful salesman or woman, one must also be a bit of a ‘con’ – Nothing that one buys or sells is strictly necessary; if it is, it falls under the realm of ‘social services’.

    My dad was brilliant at selling. He could make a person want something as it was the most important thing in the world at that exact moment. Christmas time, he would help his brother sell trees although he knew nothing about the matter save that the thing was a tree. Interacting with the customer was EVERYTHING.

    While that may seem an inherent part of life – love is so much more than constant ‘selling’ of one’s self – there are times when one must simply rest . . .

    Not explaining this terribly well.

    • The word “con” means ‘with’ in latin.

      Ure explination is abundantly clear.

      I am accomplished in many things but i am a master at only one.


  7. Some of us who are not gamers want certainty, not promises. I’d never let someone run my credit to test drive anything. I’m buying property because the seller dispensed with that “requirement”, and I’ll be paying cash.

    I want certainty in a relationship – not mystery. Others feel differently. I want physical touch and sex far more than mystery or even intellectual stimulation, though I appreciate the latter. People are just highly variable.

    I’d like to learn take-away sales because they work on some folks, and I’d like to sell more of both myself and various things. It’s not always easy determining how a given person will respond to a technique. Thanks for the comments on marriage, though getting there is the hardest work, like getting a job. More thoughts here are appreciated.

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